Clearwater County will go ahead with a $4.3-million fire hall in Leslieville that has been criticized by a taxpayer group.
Council voted this week to enter into negotiations with Ledcor Construction for a three-bay public services building and fire hall.
The municipality had been considering a five-bay option, but chose the less expensive project, which will save about $800,000.
Council also directed staff to find additional savings in the floor plan design of the 12,000-square-foot facility.
If construction remains on schedule, the building could be open by the end of the year.
“Council is aiming to foster and build community identity in their growth hamlets, one that goes hand in hand with new school construction in both Condor and Leslieville, and ensure adequate fire and rescue services for the northern and eastern quadrants in Clearview County,” says Reeve Tim Hoven in a statement.
The new fire hall joins a larger public services building and fire hall built in Condor last year.
The Clearwater County Taxpayers Association has questioned the need for a building on the scale proposed for Leslieville, with a new building in Condor only 11 kilometres away.
The Leslieville building is expected to have a two-storey staff area with meeting and training rooms, kitchen, saunas, a laundry and overnight sleeping areas.
“There has been significant concern expressed by county taxpayers over the unnecessary overbuild and extra costs, especially in light of the current economic situations,” says the association in a statement.
It says a $2-million building was originally planned, but the scope of the project expanded.
Hoven has previously defended a larger building, saying it makes financial sense to provide enough capacity for future needs, rather than build a facility little better than the older structure it is replacing.